“My urge to make Cilaos came from my encounter with the Reunionese singer Christine Salem. Although I knew nothing whatsoever about the culture of Reunion Island, I was struck by its resemblance to the culture of Colombia, where I grew up. The stories about Reunion Island that I learned from Christine echoed the South American stories and legends of my childhood. It was really striking to see the extent to which two such geographically distant regions of the world continue to share, through their common colonial past, the myths, beliefs and rhythms of the African peoples who were brought there. With Cilaos, I wanted to explore this shared heritage, and to show the resonances that exist between the Reunionese and South American cultures.” (Camilo Restrepo)
A woman takes her mother’s dying wish to the father she never knew; he is dead but not gone from the Réunion Islands village of Cilaos, historically a Maroon community. With the collaboration of renowned singer Christine Salem, Restrepo develops a trans-diasporic narrative form between the dead and the living built on the mesmerising slave rhythms of Réunionese maloya and Colombian mapalé.